Women's Month: Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed regardless of HIV status

Well-nourished generations

Well-nourished generations

These mini-sessions will cover topics that include breastfeeding, labor comfort measures, infant care and safety, and a brand new class for grandmothers-to-be called Nana's Time.

Now that mothers can nurse their babies in public in all 50 states, maybe more moms will be encouraged to breastfeed their children up until six months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

They also viewed that malnutrition is responsible, directly or indirectly, for about one thirds of deaths among children under five years old. Exclusive breastfeeding by definition is giving the baby only breast milk from birth until 6 months of age. "After six months, breastfeeding should be continued along with other nourishing foods for the baby", Masina said. "With adequate breastfeeding, children develop better immunity against diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and anemia", says Dr. Sachin.

Breast milk contributes to sensory and cognitive development of the infant and reduces obesity and noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

Only about 5% of women are unable to produce enough milk with the right help, and toddlers certainly don't need commercial toddler milk.

World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) confirm that breastfeeding contributes to reducing child mortality rates. Most of these babies are born in low and middle-income countries.

Another obstacle mothers face is discomfort during nursing.

Most mothers who find themselves in this predicament are frustrated because they are unaware of the resources that can help them.

A child is being breastfed by the mother.

To promote breastfeeding among mothers, India has enacted the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act, (IMS Act) 2003 that regulates production, supply and distribution of infant milk substitutes. Under some conditions, the mother can give expressed breast milk or milk from human milk bank or make a homemade formula or a packed formula.

Aside children, Prof. Eregie said mothers also benefit from the process, as suckling a baby just an hour after birth kick starts the stimulation of hormones (Oxytocin) for the quick contraction of uterus which prevents "post partum hemorrhage" (bleeding) and "involution" (return of uterus to normal size after birth). Very low exclusive breastfeeding rate has persisted among mothers in Nigeria with the National rate at 25% in 2014 (National Nutrition and Health Survey, 2014).

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